Who Are Super Delegates

The battle for the Democratic nomination rages on as the profile of these political insiders rises

as their choice to run against eventual Republican winner Ronald Reagan.

Endorsements of high-profile delegates are a highly sought after to build momentum during a campaign. Lesser known delegates carry sway on the local level. “I declared my endorsement several weeks ago,” says Mary Long, who chairs the Women in Numbers political action committee in Georgia and is a state representative to the DNC.

“I’ve been active in some way or another in the Democratic Party of Georgia for some time,” she adds. The state has six DNC members, elected every four years. When there was a vacancy, following the departure of now Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, Long ran and won.

“It’s very important to attend the (DNC) meetings. I always write a report back to the state committee members who elected me. It’s important to keep them aware of what’s going on. It’s a very serious role,” Long says.

Party leaders, including super delegates, want to make sure they don’t alienate their growing constituent base by making them feel their votes didn’t count. Beyond the national elections are thousands of potential local and state long-term gains. “I’m glad that so many people who previously would not be as concerned, are,” Council says. “There is so much activism on the local level because that is where your vote counts the most. As a commissioner, I see so many quality-of-life issues being decided.”

All said, super delegates are party insiders. They are gatekeepers of the bigger picture, and what’s good for the party in the long-term can be based on their political experience and knowledge. They’re all prepared to stick it out, follow Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean’s lead, and ultimately back the nominee who will be up against Sen. John McCain.

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